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Body cameras plan to curb Walsall litter louts

Walsall | News | Published:

Almost £3,000 will be spent on body cameras for more than a dozen enforcement staff under a crackdown on litter in one Black Country borough.

Up to 16 workers are poised to be equipped with the technology to tackle street rubbish.

Walsall Council is looking at using money from its reserves to use cameras to catch those responsible and act as a deterrent. Head and body cams are being considered for 10 green spaces and six environmental health staff who have the power to issue fixed penalty notices.

The use of body cams is being backed by council officers as part of a campaign to clean up the borough. Councillors are due to agree the best approach next week.

A report to the council's cabinet on Wednesday states: "Discussions with suppliers revealed that head cams can be difficult to use and those using them will need a degree of training.

"One company is discontinuing their supply and recommends a small, overt, camera that can be clipped to the officer's jacket or worn on a lanyard round the neck.

"It has been calculated that the total cost of a body camera per officer is £186 and that the total cost to equip 16 staff is £2,982.

"As training needs can be addressed by the supplier via demonstrations and in-house training, there are no additional costs compared to head cams. It is hoped that the use of head or body cans will act as a further deterrent to those littering or refusing to co-operate with enforcement staff."

There have been 16 high-visibility patrols since August, incorporating Walsall town centre, Brownhills, Bloxwich, Caldmore and Aldridge. There were 16 fixed penalties and seven warning letters in that period.

Cigarette butt pouches have also been given out to people in the town centre and will be distributed on further dates next year. A text messaging service has been set up to promote and improve the reporting of litter and other environmental crime.

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